Outsourcing Tax Preparation – Latest Trend For CPA Firms

Traditionally, small- to medium-size businesses would get accountants and bookkeepers who will work on their accounting concerns. This includes payroll, accounts receivables, sales, and cashiering. Businesses usually set up a division for one particular concern. Most of the time the work is done on a daily basis since it is associated with the business operation as a whole. When it comes to tax preparation, however, some businesses would hire a particular person for this task. However, the person who is assigned to this is very busy only almost once a year. For this reason, some companies find it more practical getting into outsourcing tax preparation.

Outsourcing tax preparation is actually the latest trend in most businesses today. The reason for this is simple: cost efficiency. Instead of hiring additional persons who specialize on tax preparation, businesses simply pay a certain fee to other companies who specialize on this task. There is a big difference when you hire an employee for taxes than simply outsourcing tax return; and most of the time it is the cost that is affected. Here are the reasons why it is more cost efficient if the business considers outsourcing tax returns:

  • When you hire an employee, you are obliged to provide him benefits and incentives. It does not mean that the staff that works on tax prep is not worthy to receive benefits. It simply means that sales and other support groups who focus on generating revenue should be more prioritized. Outsourcing tax only focuses on costs based on the task. The outsourced company is not part of the business, therefore it is not part of any incentives and benefits to keep them working. Besides, outsourcing tax returns works two ways. You get the services of the outsourced company and they promise quality service to you.
  • When you have a staff that works on tax returns, you need to train him for the method or system that you employ in your business. The training would cost considerably. Even though the person is an experienced accountant or CPA, he still needs orientation to the kind of business you have and the system that you practice for tax preparation. When outsourcing tax preparation, you eliminate this concern. This is because you get the service of an outsourcing company who is expected to know the task and knows the different system with regards to tax preparation. Otherwise, such company would not successfully exist if it proposes tax outsourcing but does not actually know all about tax preparation systems at all.
  • Your business covers the variable expenses of the person who is tasked for preparing tax returns. Most often than not, you have to work on little expenses for the work they render. This is true in overtime pays. But outsourcing tax preparation does not give you this concern. You pay for a certain fee one time. Your expenses for the outsourced services are then predictable and consistent. This makes budgeting easier for you at the end.

Overall, you get high percent of savings for outsourcing tax preparation than employing a staff for this task.


Phoenix, Arizona Real Estate

Phoenix is a nice residential city in the state of Arizona in United States. The capital city is the fifth largest in terms of US population, which is a pointer to the flourishing Phoenix real estate business in ‘The Valley of the Sun’. The Phoenix Metropolitan Statistical Area or MSA is officially dubbed as Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale because these three are the major Arizonan counties lying within the area. The city of Phoenix has been home to several well-known dignitaries and politicians. Being a cultural, industrial, economic, financial and transportation hub it is a preferred choice of residence in Arizona (US). Phoenix, Arizona real estate comprises of a network or recognized real estate agents.

Metropolitan Phoenix has earned its name as a place to find the best of affordably-priced new homes. The city has actually become a target of affluent home buyers because it is home to the coolest and most expensive homes. The Phoenix area housing options comprises of resale homes and condos featuring urban setup. Homes with backyard swimming pool are popular choice because of hot summers in Arizona. The housing options also include master-planned and gated communities, usually built around golf courses and active-adult communities. These communities feature homeowners associations and hence you are assured of a secured living. They have common swimming pools and recreational facilities.

If you are looking for a new home or planning to sell off your home you can take the help of Phoenix, Arizona real estate agents. You can find housing market information; right home value and Arizona mortgage rates. Phoenix is a place of tourism interest in Arizona and its warm climate in winter months makes it an ideal golfing destination. The real estate agents of Phoenix have listing of all the golf properties. In fact, Phoenix/ Scottsdale metropolitan area is a vibrant Fall and Winter paradise for many. This also spurs the demand of rented apartments.

Everyone is on the lookout for the best bargain for home sale and purchase. Phoenix real estate agents help in negotiating the right bargain for the home buyer. The licensed agents have databases which helps a client in house hunting. You can get information about luxury homes, condos and golf properties. You can also locate custom new homes.

Phoenix, Arizona real estate homes for sale are listed and located by the licensed brokers of the city. Their web portals have updated information, property purchase offers and all phoenix real estate listings of old and new property. You can get accurate information about prices of the available home and rental properties. It will take you on a virtual tour of Phoenix, Arizona property. These sites have contact information about Phoenix real estate guy; so you can clarify all your questions over phone or through personal appointment. The agents also provide Phoenix relocation information for people relocating to the city.

The lifestyle and need of the clients differ; it is in the responsibility of the Phoenix, Arizona estate agents to tailor the customer’s requirements and help them find home of their choice.


Defining Your Target and Niche Markets

Defining your main target market is the key to understanding how your business can deliver the greatest value to your customers and prospects. You will serve your customers much better if you can group them together by specific needs and wants.

The best way to do this is to define your single primary target market. Then, depending on your business, you may need to define one or two secondary and/or niche markets.

Definition of Markets & Niches
You’ll find a lot of marketing books talking about defining your “niche.” This can cause confusion as the terms “target market,” “niche market,” and “niche” are sometimes used interchangeably. For purposes of this module, I’d like to define these terms in order to avoid confusion.

Target Market: Your target market is simply your main subset of customers that have a similar set of wants and needs. Even if you haven’t fully defined these needs, you most likely have a very good idea of your main target market. Your main target market may be large or small. The size is not important, but your ability to define the needs of the customers within the market is critical.

Secondary Market: A secondary market is a market that is related to your primary target market, but is not your main source of business revenue. A good example of this would be a roofing company that has the primary target market of commercial roof replacements. This company may also have a secondary market in residential roof repairs. However, because their primary revenue growth comes from commercial buildings, the residential work they do is considered secondary. It may not be as profitable as commercial work, but it’s profitable enough to be considered a secondary market.

Niche Market: A niche market is a group of potential customers that have a definable need that no one else is providing. Uncovering a niche market can be difficult. But, once you do, it can be very profitable. As an example, a cleaning service might uncover a niche opportunity in cleaning blinds. A graphic designer may decide there is a niche opportunity in creating just eBook covers. A niche market tends to be a small and definable need within an overall target market.

Niche: A niche is simply the service or product you specialize in providing your target and niche markets. Your niche can be offered to your target market as well as any definable niche or secondary markets.

The easiest way to begin defining your primary, secondary and any possible niche markets is to look at your past clients. Create a spreadsheet of past customers by creating column headings. You can start with customer name, business name, industry type, services and/or products purchased, and total amount spent over a particular time period.

If you’re a business that mainly sells to other businesses, then your spreadsheet can also contain columns related to industry, # of employees, revenue, business type and possibly geographic location.

Look for Common Patterns
As you go through your data, look for common customer patterns that will allow you to start creating definable data on your main target market as well as any secondary markets or niche areas.

Maybe you uncover a group of customers that tend to purchase low-cost impulse-type products. Maybe there is a certain niche segment where the buying process is long because all purchases must go through an approval committee.

Looking for patterns like this will allow you to start grouping customers by different attributes. There is no right or wrong way to do this. Just work to uncover any patterns in the types of customers that buy from you.

Check Out Your Competition
Another good way to help define your primary and any secondary target markets is to check out your competitor’s website and brochures to see what customer groups they may be targeting. This can also help define niche market segments that would most benefit from your company’s offerings.

Ask yourself the following questions to really determine if you have a potential definable target market.

1. Does this group of customers have a problem that my product or service solves?
2. Am I able to differentiate my products and services from the competition in order to provide unique value to this group?
3. Will this group be willing to pay full price for my products and/or services?

Define Your Target Markets
Remember, a niche market is a just narrowly defined group of customers. Don’t overcomplicate the process. It’s simply a way to partition your overall market into definable sub-markets.

By looking at your customer data, you will want to write down and define the following three areas:

1. Main Target Market – You most likely already have a good idea of your main or primary target market. Use your customer data to reinforce and further define this main category of customers. Remember, size of your main market is not important. What is important is that all the customers defined in this group must have similar wants and needs.

2. Secondary Markets – As you look at your past customers, you may find you can group some into their own areas. For example, a roofing company that targets commercial buildings may find they have a secondary market in residential roof repairs. Don’t force this however. It’s fine to have a single narrowly-focused target market with no definable secondary markets. If you try to attack your primary market as well as several secondary markets simultaneously, you may find you’re spreading your marketing efforts over too wide an area.

3. Niche Markets – This can be a difficult one to define. A niche market is a small segment of customers that have a set of needs no one else is currently providing. As with secondary markets, don’t force the creation of a niche area if nothing comes up in reviewing your customers. However, always be on the lookout for niche market opportunities. As you learn more about your customers, you may very well discover some great niche opportunities.

Once you have defined your various markets, take a closer look and make sure they are aligned with your business. If you can determine that a particular target segment has low profit potential, then you’re better off dropping it as a definable market. It’s better to focus on two or three market areas that have a good profit potential than 5-6 with poor or mediocre potential.

As your business grows and you add products and services to your portfolio, you will most likely define additional secondary and niche markets. As long as they are focused around a similar set of customers with similar needs, add them to your overall list of target markets.

Here’s an example of how a roofing business might define their target and niche markets.

Primary Target Market: Industrial & Commercial Buildings
Secondary Target Markets: Residential Repair, Real Estate Managers
Niche Markets: Hospitals, Elementary Schools

Defining your niche markets allows you to understand the very specific wants and needs of your various customers. Developing relevant and compelling solutions to these needs is the key to growing your small business.


Loan For Bad Credit – A Brief Guide

Nobody wants a poor credit rating – it makes it look as though you’re irresponsible with your money (which, to be fair, a lot of people with bad credit can be) and really gets in the way when you’re trying to arrange things like credit cards or loans with banks and lenders. While it can certainly make things harder though, it’s not impossible to be approved for credit if you have problems on your record… providing you know where to look, that is.

The trick to finding a loan for bad credit holders, not surprisingly, is to avoid going straight to a big bank or major lender and try going to a loan broker instead. Sure, it’s possible to do all the legwork yourself and find a few decent lenders willing to offer such loans, but getting a handle on all your loan options at once can incredibly difficult since the best rate may not always be the first one you find. That’s why loan brokers can be prove to be very useful indeed – since they often have a huge amount of lenders and loan providers on their books, they can find a huge number of Bad Credit Loan options for you very quickly. As with the loans themselves though, finding the right broker is important. Not only do some brokers have access to more lenders and loan providers than others, but the fees they charge for their services vary significantly so it’s worth going with one that has a good reputation and large range of lenders to choose from.

Although they may seem like the only loan option available to people with poor credit ratings, Bad Credit Loans actually have their uses. Certainly, the higher interest rate over more conventional loans tips the scales in favour of the lenders, as does the fact that being approved for an unsecured Bad Credit Loans can harder than getting a secured one since loan providers like some form of collateral to insure the loan against should the borrower prove to as unreliable as their credit history would suggest. However, making regular repayments against a Bad Credit Loan can actually bring your credit record back from the brink and lift your rating to something more respectable, making it possible for you to secure more traditional forms of credit in the future. And while the idea of having a chunk of money to spend on anything you please always sounds nice, Bad Credit Loans can also be used as a means of debt consolidation instead to help clear large amounts of existing debt (like credit and store cards), bringing everything together into one single affordable monthly payment.

In Summary

A loan for bad credit…

  • Is known as a Bad Credit Loan
  • Can, over time, help improve your credit rating if you keep up repayments
  • Usually has a higher interest rate than other loan products
  • Is easier to get if you can secure the loan against collateral
  • Can be used to consolidate existing debts and make them more affordable.
  • Are easily sourced with the help of a reputable loan broker

Copyright: Individual Finance, 2010